Monday, October 21, 2013

Cold air brings good birds

The birding had been rather slow for early October, with SW winds and warmer temps dominating.  Not much change in the happenings of birds on the beach at East Fork.  Smaller birds such as Juncos and Sparrows have arrived locally per reports, but I have yet to come across any.  I did hear a Winter Wren a couple of weeks ago.  Also, I have been working mornings and haven't been able to get out to look for passerines much.

Back during the first week of October, another birder and I took a walk back to the man made wetlands/bike trail on the other side of East Fork Lake.  We thought we heard a Marsh Wren, but could not confirm.  We did see this immature Rose-breasted Grosbeak migrating through.

Immature Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Flickers seem to be everywhere as of late, and they are always nice to see.  Love their colors.

Yellow-shafted Flicker

Always take time to admire the common birds!  Like this immature Ring-billed Gull.

Immature Ring-billed Gull with sunglasses

As it is now mid October, the cold has finally arrived.  We had our first frost this past morning here.  It looks like the cold is here to stay, with reinforcing cold fronts lined up.  This could only mean that the dam should break open for some good birds.

This afternoon/evening, I decided to check the beach at East Fork.  I find it as the best time to get the best idea of what is around the lake gull wise, as they all fly in to roost on the beach just before dark.  When I arrived, there were people with cameras and children chasing the gull flock back and forth.  I didn't expect much.  I took up a position on the beach that provided the best light.  After a while, the people faded away briefly and the gull flock positioned itself right in front of me.  

I noticed a dark winged type of hooded looking gull way out over the water, but it would not land with all the commotion on the beach.  I kept watching, and finally it came in to rest.  Oh, I know this gull!

Franklin's Gull, East Fork 10/20/2013

The guy in the background was chasing the gulls when I first arrived, I don't know what he was photographing.  Kind of defines the birding at East Fork.  

Franklin's Gull, East Fork 10/20/2013

Franklin's Gull, East Fork 10/20/2013

Franklin's Gull, East Fork 10/20/2013

Franklin's Gull and Common Tern, East Fork 10/20/2013

With the Common Tern that has been hanging out on the beach. ^

As I was looking at the Franklin's in the BACKGROUND through my camera, I zoomed out to notice that there was another Franklin's right at my feet!

Franklin's Gulls, East Fork 10/20/2013

The light was fading fast, so the quality of photos degrades.

I took the camera away from my face and rescanned the flock.  I see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 FRANKLIN'S GULLS!  

I couldn't get a shot of all of them, as they were scattered about the flock and people were still very close - so the birds kept shuffling.

Franklin's Gulls, East Fork 10/20/2013

The guy in the first picture got up, scattering the gulls off the beach.

Here is a photo of the SIX Franklin's Gulls flying off into the darkness.

Franklin's Gulls, East Fork 10/20/2013

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